12 children rescued from Islamic academy

2014-06-09 14:24

Twelve children have been removed from an Islamic academy in Wasbank, KwaZulu-Natal, which is not allowed to house children.

The province’s Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi’s office today said the children, aged between 12 and 17, were not attending school but were studying the Koran instead.

Police asked social workers for help on Thursday after two of the children escaped from the Sabalalisa Iqiniso Dawah Academy, which is a registered nonprofit organisation.

Thusi said: “After spending hours at the facility they [the social workers] found clear contravention of the Children’s Act and took appropriate action.”

The children were being held with six adults in a hall containing 10 bunk beds.

Social workers found that consent forms for the children had been signed by the children themselves.

The children were taken to two children’s homes, where they were to be kept until their parents had been contacted, said Thusi.

The department said an instructor from the academy was arrested, along with five youths found to be in South Africa illegally.

“We understand that this is not the only facility of its kind and our social workers will continue to work with the police in dealing with this matter,” said Thusi.

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